The dissident couple- Franklin Peregrino del Toro and Berta Guerrero Segura- along with their very young daughter, were violently attacked by officials from the Cuban regime while they were trying to get to a Catholic Church in Holguin province from Cacocum this past Sunday December 4th.
According to Peregrino, it was around 7:50 in the morning when an official known as Raymundo intercepted the family along the way on the Central road from Holguin-Bayamo known as “Los Amarillos”. Raymundo let them know that they were not allowed to continue on their path. “I told him that it was not possible, that it was so unbelievable that I wanted to direct myself to the Pope himself to tell him about these violations“, declared Franklin, classifying the abuses not only as human rights violations but religious rights violations. The official responded by saying that even if the Pope were consulted he did not care, he was not going to stop his mission of impeding the dissident’s from moving freely.
As a form of protest, the three Cubans sat down on the side of the road (Bertha with her young child in her arms) when “another political police official showed up with another State Security agent. They grabbed me by the arm, twisted it, hit me on the neck and forced me up“, explained the dissident who continued to non-violently resist the arrest, sitting down on the floor once more.
It was at that moment that the uniformed oppressors physically assaulted Berta Guerrero and her small daughter. “They grabbed them also by the arms and pushed them. Another official by the name of Vilma arrived and grabbed my daughter by her arm, digging her nails down on her skin. Now she is wounded there“, the activist denounced.
The three were arrested and during the whole aggressive operation a member of the regime’s Rapid Response Brigade began to offend them verbally, especially Berta. “That person shouted to my wife that they were going to break her mouth, while Vilma continued pushing her. Meanwhile, Raymundo took me in the front, pushing me and hitting me“.
Peregrino, Guerrero, and their daughter were taken to a police unit on Camilo Cienfuegos Street in Cacocum, where they were kept until around 10:40 in the morning. Although compared to other detentions this one did not last particularly as long, the dissidents suffered various physical blows, a minor was harassed and hurt, and they suffered constant threats while they were being held in separate cells.
Franklin Peregrino narrated that when they were released, they were warned that they could not step out of their municipality , to which he replied with the slogan of the National Boitel and Zapata Live March: that his house was not a prison.
“We were only going to Church to pray for the political prisoners and for a free and democratic Cuba“, said Peregrino, assuring that he will not stop doing so.